It’s been a while since I posted on green living, and recently I’ve had some folks asking about our diapering choices so I thought I’d pick back up there. Most people know that disposable diapers aren’t good for the environment. Diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills. Scientists estimate that it takes between 250-500 years for a single diaper to decompose. Considering that Cecilia averages 70 diapers a week, the toll that she would take on the earth is outrageous. The average disposable is filled with disgusting chemicals, including carcinogens and hormones, and I don’t want to place chemicals next to my daughter’s precious bum-bum. Speaking of that bum-bum, did you know that 1955, before modern disposable diapers were sold, only 7% of infants and toddlers developed diaper rash. By 1991, that number had increased to 78%.
Because of these reasons, cloth diapers have regained popularity and seen great improvements. Most people are familiar with the traditional prefolds. Even if they’ve never changed a cloth diaper, there’s a chance their weekly childhood chores included dusting with an old prefold. (Or maybe that was just my childhood.) Now days, there is a variety of size, shapes, colors, and styles. The days of plastic pants are over and have been replaced with fashionable diaper and cover combinations. In addition to saving the planet, cloth diapers can save quite a bit of money after the initial cost of starting your stash. However, there is a downside to cloth - the clean up. If your baby is breastfeed, the early changes are pretty easy, but once your baby starts trying solid foods, things get a bit, well, solid. You’ll also need a special diaper pale, and you’ll need to do laundry every few days to clean your supply. Unfortunately, cloth diapers can’t be tossed in with your regular laundry. There is a special process for cleaning them.
When I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to cloth diaper, but I couldn’t convince Chris to get on board. He didn’t want the hassle and, to be honest, neither did I. I was also turned off by the amount of water wasted with all that washing. But then Chris’s uncle, his very manly uncle, mentioned using a diaper service when his daughter was small. Chris agreed to use cloth if we found a service. After quite a bit of searching, I found the only diaper service in Nashville, Smile, Mommy!
We’ve been with Smile, Mommy! for three months, and I can do nothing buy sing their praises. They’ve been quick to respond to any concerns and very helpful. Using a service does cost more than using typical disposables, but it’s comparable to using biodegradable disposables. And since they are washing in gigantic industry drum washers, they aren’t wasting all that water. Though the monetary expensive may be higher, the guilt is much lower. Plus Cecilia looks so cute with a bubbly butt.